Playmaker

A Breakaway Novel

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He knows every play in the book. But she’s calling the shots.

“An epic story of the one that got away—Maddox will totally surprise readers in a lovely, lovely way.”—Sawyer Bennett

I’m Maddox Ledger, all-star winger and the reason the Charlotte Strikers killed it in the playoffs. Yeah, the tabloids like to call me arrogant. A real hothead. All I see is a guy who plays to win. Wreaking havoc on the ice, breaking a few hearts—that’s all just part of the game. And I’m sure as hell not sitting on the bench.

When my teammate asks me to be in his wedding party, I can’t refuse. Lucky for me, the bridesmaid I’m paired with is the definition of eye candy, but she’s so much more than that. Lacey Easton is totally irresistible and she makes me want to be a better man. A glimpse of bare shoulder takes me back to a steamy, two-week Vegas tryst I can’t forget. One I’m eager to repeat.

Suddenly our one-night stand is turning into the sequel. Still, Lacey’s keeping secrets. She doesn’t trust me. And maybe I deserve it. But I know more than she thinks I do and there’s no chance I’m letting her get away—or letting another guy take what is mine. This time, I’m playing for keeps.

Praise for Playmaker

“This is a second-chance romance mixed with sexiness and sweetness. The characters are genuine and the story endearing.”—Cocktails and Books

Playmaker is entertaining, sexy, and fun. L.P. Dover brought together a really good plot, strong characters, heat, humor, conflict, family, and friendships. Ms. Dover continues to build on a great cast of characters in the players, their families, and their friends.”—Harlequin Junkie

“I love when I get completely lost in a book, and I definitely got lost in Maddox and Lacey’s story.”—Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews (five stars)

“Nonstop action, plenty of romance, lots of drama, and a hint of intrigue to sweep you off your feet.”—Kristen’s Book Jungle

“[Playmaker] fit well into the Breakaway series, but can be read as a standalone.”—OMG Reads

Don’t miss any of New York Times bestselling author L. P. Dover’s red-hot Breakaway novels:
HARD STICK | BLOCKED | PLAYMAKER

Or these heartwarming Second Chances romances:
CATCHING SUMMER | DEFENDING HAYDEN | INTENDED FOR BRISTOL

This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Under the Cover

An excerpt from Playmaker

Prologue
Maddox

“This is crazy. What the hell are we doing?”

I could still hear the sound of her voice and see the excitement on her face as I pulled her into the chapel. Every single moment in Vegas for spring break had been a whirlwind of excitement from the moment I’d met Paige two weeks ago. We’d done some crazy things, from bungee jumping at the Stratosphere to winning a few grand at the casinos. When I was with her, I couldn’t think of anything other than being with her. It was f***ing insane, but I wanted her more than anyone I’d ever wanted in my life. Closing my eyes, I lay back on my bed, replaying that last night two years ago in Vegas in my mind.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” I told her.

“How much have you had to drink today?” I’d had two Bloody Marys at breakfast and several other drinks throughout the day, but I was nowhere near drunk. Or maybe that was the drunk part of me saying I wasn’t drunk. All I knew was that I had to have her. We’d gotten this far. We could stumble down the aisle together.

Knowing she loved it when I wore my ballcap backward, I turned it around and grinned slyly. “I’ll never tell. Now come on, humor me. Who all can say they got married by Elvis?”

I might’ve been portrayed as an egotistical douche bag and hockey’s number-one bad boy, but I wasn’t as shallow as everyone thought me to be. With Paige, I could show her who I really was. She understood me, even if I was a drunken idiot the night I met her in the bar. Drinking was the only way I could deal with the shit from my father. Paige was the only one able to get me out of that state of mind.

There was a man at the desk, dressed in a black tux. “Good evening,” he said warmly. “What brings you to us tonight?”

I glanced back at Paige and winked before turning back to the man. “We want to get married.”

“Maddox,” she blurted, mouth gaping in surprise. “Are we really doing this?” The look of shock on her face when I pulled out the marriage license was priceless. Her eyes widened and her breath caught. I was serious when I signed my name on that dotted line.

I pointed to a picture of the Elvis impersonator with IT’S NOW OR NEVER written on it. “It’s now or never, right?” I said, grinning widely.

The man at the desk chuckled. “It’s one of the songs you can choose in your package.”

Pulling her into my arms, I kissed her. “What do you say, sunshine? You know you love me.”

She laughed nervously. “I do, but this is crazy. I’m all for ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’ but this is serious. It’s probably not even legit anyway.”

I shrugged, hoping like hell it was. Then again, I didn’t know for sure. “Probably not. You’re not scared, are you?”

Gaze narrowed, she lifted her chin. “I’m not afraid of anything, Mr. Ledger. If anything, you’re the one who’s scared.”

Was I? Yeah, maybe I was, but that was the exciting part. Squeezing her tight, I kissed her again. “I’m so in love with you, Paige. I need this . . . I need you.” She shivered in my arms and her eyes glistened. I rested my forehead on hers. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Please say you’ll be my wife.”

And just like that, I snapped out of the memory. We’d said our “I do’s” and went back to the hotel, where I made love to her all night. It was wild and hot, just like the entire time we spent in Vegas together. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning alone, every trace of that night wiped from existence. She’d taken everything with her, our marriage license and rings, leaving me nothing. Rejection wasn’t something I was used to. I looked for her, asked the hotel manager if anyone had seen her. I felt like a goddamn fool. She’d left me and I was determined to find her.

She might’ve fooled me back then, but I was smarter than she gave me credit for. That wasn’t going to happen again. I was biding my time. I saw her eleven months ago for the first time since Vegas when she walked through the door with Callie. I knew she was at medical school in New York, but after hiring a private investigator, I found out who she really was. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I’d fallen in love with the sister of a fellow Charlotte Striker, a man who hated my guts. The shock of seeing her with Callie took my breath away. Yeah, I played it off like I didn’t know her, only because she did the same with me. Inside, I was fuming. I’d spent days afterward wondering how I was going to confront her. A part of me wondered if she left me because I wasn’t good enough. When I was growing up, that was what my father always told me. There were so many times I’d flown to New York to see her, but I could never go through with it. But now that’s changed. Whatever fears I’d had before had diminished with each passing day. I was ready.

Reaching over to my bedside table, I grabbed the marriage license my PI gave me several months ago. Her signature wasn’t the easiest to read, but it was there in bold black ink: Lacey Paige Easton. Lacey thought she was slick leaving off the ‘s’ in Easton, making me think her name was Paige Eaton.

It’s been two years too long and it was time she faced me. I wasn’t letting her go. I knew who she was.

She’s my wife and I want her back.
 
 

- About the author -

L. P. Dover is the New York Times bestselling author of the Second Chances series, the Breakaway series, the Forever Fae series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed and Dangerous series, the Society X series, the Royal Shifters series, and a standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. She loves not only to write, but also to play tennis, hike in the mountains, go white-water rafting, and sing. A Southern belle with a former life in periodontics, L. P. Dover lives in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls.

More from L.P. Dover

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— Published by Loveswept —